What happens when Harvard students team up to solve real government problems using user-centered design and “lean startup” principles?


Tech and Innovation 

in Government


The Semester

Working in a highly creative environment, teams of five collaborate with government clients to develop solutions to real life issues.  

Weekly lectures from experts in the field supplement co-working sessions hosted by the Harvard innovation labs. With topics ranging from storytelling in the White House to  bureaucracy hacking for healthcare.gov, students receive insights from the highest echelons of the federal bureaucracy.

Led by Professor Nick Sinai, former deputy CTO of the United States, students in DPI-663 learn how to enact positive change in the government. 


Building relationships: On and off campus

As a field course, DPI-663 provides students with the unique opportunity to take their work outside the classroom to conduct user research in local communities.  From touring in cop cars with the Boston Police to working with parents in Massachusetts public schools, students in this course are challenged to make an impact off campus. 

Dedicated to the One Harvard experience, each team will have the ability to work with students from HKS, the college, GDS, SEAS and more.   



Past clients

Close collaboration with government clients provides a unique opportunity for students to get to know the federal government from the inside.

Past projects have dealt with: 

  • Parent communication with Boston Public Schools.

  • Public records requests for the City of Boston

  • Retiring from active duty and becoming a Veteran.

From publishing books on civic tech to running for congress, alumni of DPI-663 have implemented key classroom takeaways in their future careers.

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